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New York Times writer Ethan Bronner said he dashed hopes for advancing peace negotiations, leaving Palestinians no choice but to intensify efforts for full UN September membership recognition. Israeli commentators expressed similar views, including former Shin Bet head Avi Dichter saying:
"My fear is that (his AIPAC and congressional speeches left) Palestinians with a closed door. It is impossible that in the present reality in the Middle East and here between the sea and the Jordan River we have no next step."
According to Maariv newspaper writer Ben Caspit:
"Those who are scared of peace....got their wish. Those who are scared of war will (now) be a lot more scared..."
Despite Netanyahu's intransigency, Egypt agreed to open Gaza's border, according to its MENA news agency, saying:
Beginning May 28, Rafah's border crossing will open permanently (for the first time since June 2007) from 9AM - 9PM daily except Fridays and holidays "to end the status of the Palestinian division and achieve national reconciliation."
Egypt's foreign ministry spokeswoman Minha Bakhoum said:
"This comes in the context of the decision taken by the new Egyptian government to help end the disunity between Palestinian factions, in the absence of any resolution to the Israeli - Palestinian conflict."